Oxford University Company of Archers have won the BUCS Outdoor National Championships, beating opposition from over 35 other UK universities to secure the title.
The team of (L-R in photo) Matthew Langton, Ciprian Zahan, Alex Smith and Charlie Birch clocked an impressive score of 4661 between them, finishing ahead of Warwick on 4608 and Nottingham on 4430 with a decisive margin of victory.
Success was especially sweet this time around, as in the last three BUCS tournaments in which the team competed, they had finished in silver medal position behind Nottingham, in one case by an agonising 14 points! The tables were turned this time however and there was no denying that Oxford had brought the strongest team by far.
There was individual success too for OUCofA. Charlie Birch’s score of 1170 won her the silver medal in the women’s recurve category, while Alex Smith and Matthew Langton came 6th and 7th respectively in the challenging men’s recurve competition. These achievements were all the more impressive considering both were injured entering the tournament!
Among the novices – those who had been shooting for less than a year – Kayla Haffley put in a powerful score of 1026 to come 5th in women’s recurve, with Sarah Arifi close behind in 9th and Jack Cane finishing 11th among the male novices. The novice team as a whole came 5th overall, suggesting the future of the club is in safe hands.
Two of the most prestigious titles in student archery – BUCS Outdoors and BUTC – are now held by Oxford, along with the Varsity Rose Bowl and Novice Plate, which were won in May for the third time running with two record-breaking scores.
OUCofA has cemented its reputation as a hard-working, dedicated but also friendly and open team, and looks set to build on this success in the years to come.
By Kirstie Smith
Photo/ Malcolm Rees